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Webcomic / Pixie and Brutus

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"Did you know that after military dogs retire, they can be adopted into regular civilian families?..."
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Pixie and Brutus is a 2018 webcomic by Ben Hed. Pixie, a sweet, energetic kitten, meets new pet Brutus, a German Shepherd who has a military background. Brutus quickly takes Pixie under his protection, and the two develop a strange bond.

For another work by the same author taking place in the same universe, see Lola and Mr. Wrinkles.

The collection of the comic strips (done as individual images) can be found on Webtoons here or on the artist's Instagram here.


This webcomic includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Around the first Halloween strip, Pixie begins wearing a red bandanna.
  • Anachronic Order: Some comics, such as "Flight", "Parkour" or "Time", jump forward to show the antics of an older Pixie, but most strips continue to take place when she's a kitten.
  • Angry Eyebrows: In "Self-Defense", Brutus draws a pair of angry-looking eyebrows on a teddy bear to try and show Pixie that it represents a mean intruder that she has to fight. Naturally, Pixie doesn't get it.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Downplayed; Brutus never enters a fight, but he's an ex-military dog who applies his protectiveness to his new position and especially to Pixie.
  • Animal Jingoism: One strip shows Brutus' perspective on becoming a member of Pixie's family. When told she's a cat, he considers it even worse than if she were a small, yappy dog. Of course, that changes when he sees her.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • Played for Laughs. Pixie is absolutely distraught at the notion that she might have hurt Brutus after she playfully throws a tiny toy batarang at him that doesn't even make him flinch.
    • In another comic, she makes sure to ask Randal the raccoon if he's okay after she "tackled" him while playing cops-and-robbers (i.e. she leapt harmlessly onto Randal's back, Brutus growled menacingly at him, and the raccoon hastily played along and pretended Pixie "got" him).
  • Ass Kicks You: Randal keeps bullying Hugo into giving up his lunch, until Brutus gives the larger dog a few pointers. Hugo sits on Randal. Problem solved.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Pixie's passion for splashing in puddles quickly overrides her memory that she has to figure out how deep water is before diving into it. Luckily, Brutus acts as a lifeguard.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Pixie started out as a brownish-gray kitten. As the comic went on, she gained a bandanna and her fur became a more saturated sandy color.
    • As the comic progressed, Pixie's face changed to become more square-like.
    • Brutus has experienced this as well. In early pages, he bore very sharp features and a near permanent snarl. Later pages soften him up a touch, making him look like a regular if intimidating dog.
    • Recently, the marks that depict the furs on the animals aren't drawn anymore.
    • As of December 2021, the comic now has fully drawn and colored backgrounds instead of the usual white void.
    • The weight of the line art has gotten lighter.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Of the animal variety.
  • Bait-and-Switch: While sitting by an impressive snow lion (complete with stick mane), Pixie calls to Brutus to come see her masterpiece...and it turns out the snow lion is quite a bit less realistic and impressive than it was in her mind.
  • Befriending the Enemy:
    • When Brutus asks her to show what she would do if a large, mean animal tried to attack her, Pixie asks the mean animal (really a teddy bear) to be friends instead.
    • When Pixie strays during a trip to the Everglades, she runs into an alligator. However, it doesn't end as badly as Brutus feared, because she offers a listening ear as the gator bemoans the way humans confuse him with crocodiles and demean him for being "just" an alligator.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Brutus mentions having seen bugs almost as big as Pixie during his military career. Thinking he means something like ladybugs, Pixie gushes that that would be cute. Brutus, remembering camel spiders, doesn't share her enthusiasm.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Brutus takes his role as Pixie's "new big brother" very seriously. If anything could possibly hurt or upset her, he's on-guard against it.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: In one crossover with Lola and Mr. Wrinkles, Brutus asks Pixie about Hugo's problems with being bullied. Pixie says Randall messes with him a lot and Lola thinks it's because Hugo is a "marshmallow", which she interprets as referring to his brown-and-white coat. Brutus tries to explain the real meaning of the metaphor to Pixie, only for her to misinterpret every attempt to rephrase it.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Brutus presumably saw a lot of nasty things in his military career and continues to be fairly dark and gruff. Pixie is a sweet little kitten who tries to make friends with everybody, happily offers to share her bed with Brutus, and apologizes for pouncing (which she's apparently unaware is too minor to hurt).
  • Brutal Honesty: In their first meeting, Brutus very quickly points out that Pixie is small, weak, and unable to protect herself. She doesn't get offended.
  • Can't Use Stairs: Downplayed; Pixie sees the stairs as a dangerous part of the house that could lead to injury if you're not careful thanks to her small size. Brutus, of course, is unfazed.
  • Captain Oblivious: Pixie tends to miss the harsher aspects of life due to her naivete.
  • Cat/Dog Dichotomy: Pixie, the cat, is everything Brutus, the dog, is not; she's small, cheerful, naive, hyperactive, and affectionate. Brutus, meanwhile, is big, straight-laced, deadpan, unflappable, and gruff. Brutus served in the military; Pixie's never been further than her front yard, and the most dangerous thing she's ever encountered is the stairs. The Animal Jingoism part, however, is entirely averted; they get along famously.
  • Catchphrase: Pixie says "Wowee!" when she's excited about something.
  • Cats Are Mean: Inverted. Pixie is the sweetest, most affectionate kitty you could ever hope to meet.
  • Cats Are Superior: When Lola and Hugo enjoy playing in the mud, Mr. Wrinkles complains to his fellow cat Pixie about their canine lack of sophistication, only to realize that Pixie has deserted him to go play in the mud too.
  • Cats Hate Water: Inverted; Pixie loves to play in puddles. Her eagerness sometimes means Brutus has to pull her out of water she splashed into before realizing it went over her head.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A large part of Pixie's character is her innocence making her misunderstand some things the rougher Brutus says.
    • Brutus' implied threat against Randal the raccoon goes straight over her head as she gets sidetracked by the fact that Brutus isn't striped.
    • She completely misses the point of Brutus' training, attempting to make friends with the "mean critter" target (a teddy bear) and protesting Brutus' instructions to bite because biting would make him not want to be friends.
    • In one crossover with Lola and Mr. Wrinkles, Brutus tries to correct Pixie's understanding of the term "marshmallow", only for her to misinterpret his every attempt to rephrase it.
  • The Comically Serious: A large part of the comic's humor comes from Brutus continuing to act like a military dog in the much friendlier setting of a normal house, especially when contrasted with Pixie's innocence and enthusiasm.
  • Compliment Backfire: Seeing a picture of rookie Brutus, Pixie gushes about how cute and small he used to be. Brutus immediately becomes flustered and protests that he couldn't help it.
  • Continuity Nod: Pixie's skewed perception of her own art that first appeared in the "snow lion" strip comes up again when she and Brutus play Pictionary and she makes a poor drawing of an eagle.
  • Coordinated Clothes: A platonic version; Pixie talks Brutus into doing a best friends costume set with her. Brutus turns down the idea of being a flower and a bee or The Princess and the Pea, but agrees to Batman and Robin...only to find himself stuck as Robin, much to his chagrin.
  • Crossover: The strip crosses over multiple times with Lola and Mr. Wrinkles.
    • Lola and Mr. Wrinkles come over to wish their new neighbor Brutus a Merry Christmas...and quickly being scared off by his intimidating demeanor.
    • Brutus gives Hugo self-defense lessons to keep Randal from bullying him.
    • There's been a couple of crossovers with Stuffed, as well.
    • And one with Litterbox
  • Cute Kitten: Pixie is designed to be as cute as possible, with big eyes and an innocent demeanor. While Brutus doesn't go into full Cuteness Proximity, he has a soft spot for her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The comic hasn't delved much into it (yet), but Brutus obviously saw a lot of not-so-nice things when he was a military dog. Pixie is so innocent and sheltered, she doesn't even understand what the military is, much less what Brutus would've witnessed in war. Notably, Sgt. Castillo, the man who handled Brutus when he was still a puppy and a rookie, was killed in action on the same day Brutus got his scars.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Brutus wears an almost-perpetual frown, has two nasty facial scars, and took part in some form of combat. Upon meeting him for the first time, Lola and Mr. Wrinkles are shaken, and Lola says that Brutus looks like he breakfasts on nails. However, he easily falls into the role of sweet, protective big brother to Pixie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Brutus sometimes has to resort to this, at least internally, whenever Pixie isn't understanding what he's trying to explain to her.
  • Death Glare: Brutus delivers one to Randal the Raccoon upon finding out he threatened Pixie.
  • Delayed Reaction:
    • Brutus, trying to take a nap, initially responds without much thought to Pixie trying to show him a movie she found, "Nighttime on Elmo Street". A few seconds after she confirms that one guy's name is indeed “Freddy Krueger“ Brutus snaps awake and smashes the screen just in time to prevent her from seeing a bloodbath.
    • Played for Drama in another strip. Brutus, again trying to rest, pays the bare minimum of attention to Pixie chattering about a bird. Then Pixie says that the bird seems to get bigger the longer she watches. Brutus cracks an eye in suspicion...and just misses his chance to stop an eagle from carrying Pixie away.
    • A third strip has Pixie taking advantage of a windy day and a stray plastic bag to try flying. She flies past Brutus, who says hi and bye to her. Two Beat Panels later— "DANG IT!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • At the beginning of one strip, Pixie points out Randal the raccoon, before helpfully adding that he's a raccoon.
    • While playing "police officer", Pixie calls Randal a bad guy, and says he's going to bad guy prison.
  • Dog Stereotype:
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Oh-so-averted. Brutus is way more on top of things than Pixie, and overall comes off as extremely smart. It helps that he's significantly older than Pixie. Truth in Television; military service dogs have to be smart in order to pass their training, let alone actually serve in the field.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: During one strip, a rabbit gets his friend's attention to show off his pinecone-kicking skills before he launches one at Pixie. The other rabbit begs him not to do it, which he dismisses as kidding. When he does it anyway, his friend races away without saying a word. The prankster bunny finds out why when he looks up to see Brutus, Lola, Mr. Wrinkles, Hugo, Randal, and Dexter surrounding him menacingly.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Randal laughs nervously at Brutus' warning that he's got his eye on him and then explains that it's funny because only one of Brutus' eyes works. Then he realizes he should shut up.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Brutus entered the military as a puppy and his service clearly cost him a good deal (including an eye and his handler). However, now he has a comfortable life far from the traumas of war, with just enough opportunity to use his protective skills to keep him from getting bored.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: When Pixie begins gushing over how cute Brutus looks in his rookie photograph, Brutus protests with embarrassment that he only looked cute because he hadn't grown up yet.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Some of Pixie's ramblings to Brutus, who will occasionally play them off with a Sure, Let's Go with That kind of reaction.
  • Everyone Hates Fruitcakes: Zig-Zagged. Randal finds a fruitcake in the trash, indicating Brutus and Pixie's owner didn't want it. However, Randal gleefully exclaims about finding a whole one and begs Brutus to let him have it when the dog interrupts his trash-raiding. Brutus acquiesces.
  • Evil Eyebrows: In one strip where Brutus tries to teach Pixie self-defense, he draws heavy, slanted eyebrows on a teddy bear before the lesson to make it look more menacing.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Half-asleep, Brutus reflexively corrects "Freddy Cougar" to “Freddy Krueger". In the next panel, Brutus snaps wide awake as it sinks in that Pixie's innocence is about to be ruined by the horror film.
  • Extra Eyes: Pixie's Halloween costume is a multi-eyed...something.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Brutus lost sight in his eye when an insurgent slashed him with a knife.
    • Hugo entered a chicken coop when he was a puppy, and an aggressive hen pecked out one eye.
  • The Faceless: Pixie and Brutus' owner appears in one panel, shown from the neck down (probably because the panel is drawn from Pixie's perspective).
  • Face of a Thug: Brutus' face is proof that the boy has seen some... stuff, but he is very calm and patient with his hyperactive new little sister. The neighbors' pets take a while to get used to it.
    Lola: You must be our— [Brutus turns to face them] ...n-neighbor.
    [Beat Panel while Lola and Mr. Wrinkles stare in horror]
    Lola: ...yeeeah, so we just thought we'd introduce ourselves, a-and wish you a merry scar face
    Mr. Wrinkles: —CHRISTMAS
  • Fear of Thunder: One of the few things Brutus does fear, since it sounds too much like gunfire. Pixie has it to a lesser degree, so Brutus often distracts himself by soothing her fears. However, it's implied she's nowhere near as scared as Brutus is of it, and acts scared so they can cuddle without Brutus being embarrassed.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Pixie, the kitten, is female while Brutus, a German Shepherd, is male.
  • Flash Forward: One strip has a teenage Pixie, as irrepressible as ever (she's trying to figure out how to fly). Brutus may be getting grey in the muzzle but he's still just as protective as ever (and maybe grouchier). Also, Pixie's friends with Gerald the eaglet.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Pixie has a mundane version when she needs to be reminded that, as a cat, she has claws. She's completely wowed when they pop out.
  • Fork Fencing: Pixie thinks a jack-o-lantern ate Randal when she sees his tail sticking out of its mouth (not helped by Randal deciding to prank her) and she runs away. A few minutes later, she returns with a fork to stab the pumpkin monster into submission as she demands it release Randal.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate: Pixie asks Brutus if she can sleep with him because of the loud storm outside. Given that Brutus had been suffering combat flashbacks from the thunder, it works both ways.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Pixie, a naive kitten, rarely feels sad or notes anything nasty about events in her life (though the latter changes slightly during strips in which she's older). Brutus, a Shell-Shocked Veteran, experienced a lot of horrible things during his career and maintains a gruff and occasionally hostile stance even after becoming a civilian pet. However, he slowly unbends under Pixie's influence.
  • Ghost Story: Pixie begins one while she and Brutus are sitting by a campfire. Anticlimactically, she doesn't see any need to continue the story after the characters encounter the ghost.
  • Halloween Costume Characterization: On their first Halloween together, Pixie wants to do a costume pair. Originally, the innocent kitten suggests a bee and flower, or the princess and the pea. Brutus turns down both ideas, but when Pixie proposes Batman and Robin, the more active theme appeals to Brutus. Unfortunately for him, it's subverted when he ends up as Robin and Pixie gets the Batman costume.
  • Handy Mouth: In one strip, Brutus draws Evil Eyebrows on a teddy bear for a self-defense lesson, holding the crayon in his mouth.
  • Happily Adopted: A given, since they're pets, but Pixie and Brutus are both happy to be in their family, and to have each other as siblings.
  • Heroic Dog: Brutus. He used to serve in the military, losing the use of one of his eyes for his trouble, and now he's the personal bodyguard to an adorable kitten.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty:
    • Pixie tries to get Brutus to explain what war is after hearing their owner call Brutus a "Military Working Dog", and Brutus stalls for some time and then tells her militaries play games with each other.
    • In a strip where Brutus takes down a hawk, he shows her one of its feathers. She gushes excitedly and asks him where he got it. Brutus hesitates briefly before saying he just found it lying there.
    • When Pixie asks what Brutus' dreams are like, he hesitates, then says they are like hers (Lighthearted adventure). In reality He has nightmares that he is a Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine fighting overwhelming odds.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Brutus is a large, athletic German Shepherd (and they can get to be up to 80 pounds as adults), and his little sister Pixie is a tiny kitten that can't weigh more than a few pounds.
  • Humongous Mecha: In one Imagine Spot, Pixie appears as "Captain Pixie", saving the city from rampaging robots with her giant robot friend Brutotron. In reality, Brutus knocks over "robots" made from cups.
  • Implied Death Threat: Downplayed; after Pixie warns him against messing with Randal, Brutus says that that would be wise because Randal would likely tear his stripy tail off. Pixie doesn't get the threat, but Randal does.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: After an eagle kidnaps Pixie, she keeps gushing about how pretty she is. Initially, the eagle resists, thinking Pixie's trying to sweet-talk her, but upon realizing that Pixie really has no idea of the eagle's plans, she changes her mind and decides on adoption.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Pixie's sclerae are colored a light blue. This enhances her endearing appearance and underlines her friendly, innocent personality.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: During one Halloween strip, Pixie starts watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, thinking that it's about a group of kids playing hide-and-seek with a man called "Freddy Cougar". Luckily Brutus figured out what was actually happening and took steps to protect her from the movie's content.
  • Jerkass: Randal the raccoon has threatened Pixie in the past and actively bullies Gentle Giant Hugo. Brutus changes that.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey:
    • One comic opens with a hawk swooping down to grab the oblivious Pixie as she admires a flower...only for Brutus to grab it in his mouth mid-swoop and carry it off-panel.
    • Another comic has an eagle successfully nab Pixie while Brutus is napping. The eagle falls victim to Pixie's innocent obliviousness and decides to adopt her instead.
  • Living Toys: The "Stuffed" Strips seem to imply that the Animals are able to communicate with Toys, even if the Humans cannot hear them.
  • Loud Gulp: Randal lets out an audible gulp after hearing Brutus' threat.
  • Malaproper: Pixie says "a-toad" rather than "abode" when showing off the box she claimed as hers. In another strip, she wraps herself up in a blanket in hopes of growing butterfly wings and calls the it a "crystal-kiss" rather than "chrysalis." Both examples probably result from Pixie being a kid trying to say somewhat fancy words.
  • Moe Couplet: The titular duo. Their dynamic is designed to be as cute and "d'awwwww"-inducing as possible.
  • Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: Downplayed; scarred ex-military dog Brutus becomes part of sweet tiny kitten Pixie's family after retiring from active duty and being adopted by her owner. Soon both develop a sibling relationship, with Brutus acting as the protective older brother to the much cuter kitten.
  • Morality Pet: As tough and scary-looking as he is, Brutus' immediate thought process upon meeting Pixie is, "She doesn't stand a chance against attackers. Well, looks like I have to protect her, then."
  • The Napoleon: In one strip, Brutus meets a very aggressive Chihuahua, who threatens him if he doesn't get out of his yard and then lunges at him. Of course, Brutus easily fends off the attack.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Seemingly Zig-zagged. As mentioned above with Anachronic Order, some recent strips portray Pixie to be at least a Teenage Cat, with Brutus having more grey fur on his muzzle. Though most of the time, the comic shows the two while Pixie is her Small Kitten self.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: As an eagle carries her off, Pixie keeps trying to talk to her and complimenting her prettiness. When the eagle realizes Pixie legitimately doesn't know she's supposed to serve as dinner, the guilt gets too great, and she decides to bring her home as a new sister for her children.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: When Pixie and Brutus play a guessing game with drawings in the dirt, Brutus draws Pixie, stumping her.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Randal gets wide-eyed and starts trembling when he realizes that the kitten he drove away with threats now has a very protective canine big brother, who just made an ever-so-subtle threat about ripping his tail off.
    • Brutus, trying to take a nap, only half-pays attention as Pixie tries to get him to come see a movie she found on TV, Nighttime on Elmo Street. Then she says that one of the guys in the movie is called "Freddy Krueger". Brutus' eyes snap wide open as he realizes what movie Pixie is watching.
    • Pixie doesn't know she has claws. Brutus tells her she has them, and how to extend them. "Just flex your fingers." She does and was shocked to see them appear. The "Oh, crap" is unstated in the comic (though Pixie's freaked-out face expresses it well) and is left as an exercise for the reader. (Probably few failed to say it.)
    • A hawk's facial expression shifts in the space of one panel from quietly menacing to alarmed when it tries to attack Pixie, only to find itself snared in Brutus' jaws mid-swoop.
    • Brutus freaks out when he sees Pixie lying right beside an alligator.
    • A rabbit goes wide-eyed when he gloats over successfully hitting Pixie with a pinecone, only to find all her friends (most of whom are much larger than he is) surrounding him.
  • Odd Couple: Pixie is a sweet, naive kitten and Brutus is a gruff, semi-aggressive ex-military dog. Pixie still adores her "big brother" and Brutus protects her and sometimes even plays along with her.
  • Papa Wolf: Appearances notwithstanding, Brutus is actually normally quite laid-back, despite the horrors he's clearly seen - he is in retirement, after all. The one thing, however, that will piss him off is if Pixie is ever in danger. Ask Randal about that.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Brutus' default expression screams 'piss me off and die', though Pixie increasingly gets him to smile as the series continues.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Pixie declares that she loves Brutus almost immediately after meeting him, directly after calling him her big brother and squealing that they're going to be the best of friends.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: The first comic of the series shows Pixie's perspective when her human brings home a new pet. Another comic, much later, shows Brutus meeting Pixie for the first time and deciding that sharing a house with a civilian (and a cat, at that!) won't bother him as much as he first thought.
  • Predator Turned Protector: An eagle who carries Pixie off decides to adopt her. However, she still has to scold one of her eaglets for attempting to peck a bite out of his new "sister". If later strips are anything to go by, said eaglet, Gerald, eventually does befriend Pixie and occasionally hangs out with her.
  • Protectorate: Brutus quickly realizes that Pixie doesn't have the size or strength to take care of herself in a fight, so he takes on the responsibility of protecting her and teaching her to protect herself. In other strips he protects her innocence by making sure she doesn't find out about the nastier aspects of war and R-rated horror films.
  • Rascally Raccoon: Randal the raccoon, seen in one strip, threatened Pixie into backing off when she tried to make friends. Brutus quickly scares the stripes off him.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Pixie appears to gain one, when she gets older, if "Flight" & "Parkour" are anything to go by.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bubbly, hyperactive, curious Pixie is the red. Stoic, intimidating, unflappable Brutus is the blue.
  • Retired Badass: Brutus is a former military dog, and his scars indicate he's definitely got some combat under his belt. However, he's now retired to a nice suburban home.
  • Rugged Scar: Brutus has scars across his eye and muzzle and an ear notch. It fits considering he used to work as a military dog before retiring and joining Pixie's family.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Brutus is the worldly, grizzled veteran to Pixie's cheerful, naive kitten.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: Pixie jumps on Randal during a game of "cops and robbers" and then asks if he's all right, thinking she knocked him over with the force of her tackle. Actually, he flopped over to appease Brutus.
  • Seen It All: Brutus simply cannot be fazed; he was in the military, after all.
  • Semper Fi: Based on his handler's T-shirt, Brutus was in the Marine Corps.
  • Shared Universe: With ''Stuffed, as shown here.
  • Shoot the Television: A variant appears in one Halloween strip when Brutus headbutts the TV, shattering its screen, after realizing Pixie accidentally found A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and the upcoming scene of Freddy killing one of his victims will traumatize her.
  • So Proud of You: At the end of one strip, Pixie has successfully "arrested" a "criminal" (Randal). Brutus watches with a half-smile and the words "so proud" are written in the comic.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Mentioned in one strip, in which Pixie finds a spider and compliments it on a pretty web. The spider first becomes confused and then tearful when she doesn't freak out about it.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Encountering a closed gate, Pixie utilizes her "super-ninja cat skills" to get over it by climbing a shovel. She advises Brutus to do the same, but he leaps the entire gate in a display of "super-ninja dog skills." Then Mr. Wrinkles walks through the door:
  • Stealthy Colossus: After scaring Pixie, Randal discovers that Brutus can move very quietly, despite his size.
  • Stock "Yuck!": The pets' owner gives Pixie a lemon slice to see her reaction. At first, she gamely tries to pretend she likes the taste. However, after Brutus tells her it's okay not to enjoy everything, she admits she doesn't, saying that it feels like her mouth is crying.
  • Straying Baby: During a trip to a wildlife park, Pixie wanders off, despite the signs warning against alligators/crocodiles. Brutus goes after her and grabs her away from a gator (which fortunately wasn't trying to eat her).
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Brutus is hardened by his service in the military and seems outwardly cold at a first glance, but he absolutely cares for Pixie.
  • Suspiciously Specific Tense: Pixie, looking at Brutus' rookie picture, asks who the man in the photo with Brutus is. Brutus answers that the man, Sgt. Castillo, was his handler. Pixie says that the sergeant looks nice, and Brutus answers, yes, he was. A later comic would reveal that he was KIA in the same incident that scarred Brutus.
  • Sweat Drop:
    • Randal begins sweating when he realizes the trouble he's gotten himself into with Pixie's new (and very intimidating) big brother by threatening to bite her.
    • Brutus starts to sweat as he tries to think of a way around explaining war to Pixie.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Brutus yells at her to bring Pixie down "or else", the eagle questions what he's going to do given that dogs can't climb trees. Cue Brutus hooking the branch with an "anchor" and starting to climb up.
    • Randal visits the garbage can for a meal and remarks in satisfaction that he can enjoy his food without a pesky dog bothering him. He turns around to find Brutus right behind him.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Referenced by Lola when taking on the role of Pixie's antagonist "the evil Doctor Paperface," who "fell into a vat of toxic newspaper." Via the description:
    If you can't think of a backstory for your characters [sic] powers, just use the ole "vat of radioactive/toxic (fill in the blank)." Works like a charm.
  • Tranquil Fury: Brutus is not pleased when Pixie mentions that Randal has threatened her, and delivers a very calm, veiled death threat to the raccoon while looking every bit as sorely tempted to murder him.
  • Unimpressive Progress Reveal: One strip shows Pixie determinedly climbing a tree, but then looking down, getting too scared to continue climbing, and asking Brutus for help. He carefully lifts her down, and she remarks that she must have been really close to the top. The view pans out to show that she was, at most, three feet off the ground, but Brutus decides to just humor her and agree that yes, she was.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A picture of Brutus as a rookie has Pixie excitedly remark how small and cute he was, and Brutus reluctantly agrees after trying to brush it off as him being a puppy back then. When Pixie asks about the other person in the picture, Brutus says that it was his former handler Sgt. Sergio Castillo. Pixie tells him he looks like a nice guy; Brutus says that he was.
  • Use Your Head: In one Halloween strip, Brutus smashes the television set with his head to prevent Pixie from seeing the carnage after she innocently begins watching A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
  • Vicious Vac: In one comic, a Roomba catches Pixie's tail while she's asleep on the floor. Cue Brutus throwing it out the window.
  • War Is Hell: the strip doesn't flinch away from showing just how traumatizing Brutus's experiences as a military dog were for him.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Randal the raccoon's fear after hearing Brutus threaten him comes across clearly thanks to very big eyes and pinpoint irises.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: Pixie rubs a lamp, bringing out a genie version of Brutus who grants her three wishes. She wishes for a hundred wishes, which Brutus tells her is against the rules. So Pixie wishes that she could wish for a hundred wishes. At this point, Brutus sighs and gives in.
  • Would Rather Suffer: When Pixie asks him if he'd like to play dress-up with her, Randall answers that he'd rather a dump truck steamrollered him. He feels similarly irritated by the outfit after Brutus talks him into it.
  • Your Size May Vary: Pixie becomes larger or smaller depending on the strip. In some, she's tiny enough to easily ride on Brutus' head, while in others she is significantly larger. Joked about in this strip.